The new rules of dating tv show
Learn more about how Oath collects and uses data and how our partners collect and use data.Select ' OK' to allow Oath and our partners to use your data, or ' Manage options' to review our partners and your choices.“I’m so used to going after people like you; it’s hard for me to get out of that mindset,” she tells him.“I was playing it safe, and I fucked up and I’m sorry.”The theme of unlearning the kinds of desire dictated by a heteronormative culture permeates the show.Boy Meets Boy, which aired in 2003 on Bravo, involved a Bachelor-style butch gay guy finding love among 15 suitors.But the plot’s reductive pretense revolved around the fact that some of the suitors were secretly straight.The show’s driving question became whether the titular “boy” would be able to tell the straights from the gays.
In bringing them all together, the show is creating a televisual space to stage the complexities of gender and desire that can come with queer dating and that are rarely seen on television — or in pop culture, period. actually lives or dies through the strength of the casting and the resulting drama of the casts’ relationships. As the housemates engage with each other, falling into and out of connections and figuring out their feelings for each other in search of the grand prize, they are remarkably open and self-aware about the difficulties — and pleasures — of breaking out of old dating patterns.
But in the current, eighth, iteration of the show, which debuted June 26, MTV flipped the shtick by including only sexually fluid participants who are attracted to all genders, so that, in the parlance of promotional materials, anything goes!
Despite the somewhat sensationalizing premise and its potential land mines, the resulting show — four episodes in — is already one of the more provocative entries in reality dating TV, where queerness has previously been treated as the topic of a “special episode” add-on or as a scandalous plot twist.
“I have no idea if I’m going to be attracted to a male or a female,” says blonde housemate Kari in one of the show’s commercials. I’m ambidextrous.” Sexual fluidity often gets reduced to this trope of “will this (conventionally hot) woman ultimately pick a man or a woman?
” in a way that seems designed to turn on straight men — or at least, the trope is designed not to offend straight logics about desirability. aren’t just fluid in terms of their sexual orientation, and the actual show doesn’t limit itself to that straight-gazey question of “which gender will they pick?